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PAUSE TOR BBBATH                                      81

my diary of the period ; even, if they serve no other purpose they
may help to re-create the atmosphere of the place and the period.

*My life goes by to a chorus of the strangest sounds ; that is all
there is to measure it by, except the visits oŁ the nurse and the
doctor. The calls of the street vendors are enchanting; the
prettiest comes from the ice-cream man, who has two strips of
metal, tuned to C Sharp and F, on which he tinkles away at the
street cornei\ The most melancholy comes from the seller of
sweet cakes; he has a long phrase of about ten bars in six-eight
time. It rises to a quarter toixe, which he hits dead in the middle,
and dies down to a deep moan on a totally unexpected note. On
first hearing him I thought that this call was an improvisation,
and that the quarter-tones and unexpected sharps and flats were
a mistake. But no—the phrase is always exactly the same ; and
it is so complicated that it would tax the ingenuity even of
Elizabeth Schumann to sing it.
'The weirdest call is appropriately reserved for the weirdest
profession; it comes from the pinjara walla, who is the "Suffer'*
of cotton mattresses (he also engages to rid the mattresses of
bugs). He has a crude instrument with one string tuned to a
very deep note, and when he twangs it the reverberation echoes
far and wide. As a sound it is quite unique; if those two great
orchestral innovators, Wagner and Tschaikowsky, had known of it,
they would certainly have used it. It is very like the voice of doom,
'The crows, of course, are ubiquitous and eternal. Nobsdy
else seems to notice them ; they drive me nearly mad. Yet one
cannot repress a sneaking admiration for their outrageous
pertness. A crow in a queue is unthinkable; he would caw and
peck and push his way through all comers.
-    'They begin at dawn with thick guttural squawks just outside
my window.   When I sit up io, bed and clap my hands, they
•  merely squawk back—" go to hell!" When I get better they shall